Just over halfway through the season Phillies fans are beginning to panic. There is good reason for this, as they have been struggling of late. This is a result of both injuries, and slumping performance. This is nothing new for the Phillies.
This year, on July 5 they had completed the first half of the 2010 season. They had a record of 43-38 giving them a winning percentage of .531. Not overly impressive is it?
Let’s take a closer look.
One year ago, the Phillies had some time of serious slumping. They couldn’t produce runs, and they lost a lot of games. Raul Ibanez was injured, and sidelined with a strained groin which didn’t help. Even after returning, he continued to struggle.
The Phillies realized they were struggling, and decided to make a big trade.
They acquired Cliff Lee from the Cleveland Indians. This boosted their pitching staff greatly, and they performed better in the second half. They went on to make it the whole way to the World Series where they were defeated by the New York Yankees.
If you back track a little bit to the half way mark in the season, the Phillies had a record of 43-38. The same exact record they earned this year. They struggled in the first half, but were able to turn it around, and make a heck of a run.
If that’s not at all convincing, let’s go back to 2008, the year Phillies fans (myself included) are so proud of.
They struggled early. The Phillies needed pitching help, and the acquired Joe Blanton. Blanton may not be the staff ace, but he did ok for the Phillies for the remainder of the year. Just a few weeks before acquiring Blanton form the Oakland Athletics was the halfway point of the season. Want to guess their record?
The answer is… 43-38. The same as it was one year, and 2 years later. The Phillies went on to defeat the Tampa bay Rays in the World Series with a winning percentage of .531 halfway through.
So basically, the Phillies have had the exact same record midway through the season the last 3 years, and have reached the World Series two of those three, with (now just under) half a season left to play.
If the Phillies were able to make a deal and get help the last two years, why can’t they turn it around and do the same this year? Chase Utley missing 8 weeks will make a more challenging. Placido Polanco’s injured elbow doesn’t help either.
Throughout the season, multiple key players have been injured, and if the Phillies have the same record through 81 games as they did in years they made the World Series with so many key injuries this time around, why cant they finish out with another trip for a ring?
The Phillies should not panic yet.